With the 2022-2023 NCAA men’s basketball season just two weeks away, Arizona State is primed for a bounce-back season. Expected to be at the helm of the turnaround are guard D.J. Horne and forward Marcus Bagley, who represented the Sun Devils on the fourth annual Pac-12 Preseason All-Conference 2nd Team announced on Monday.
The leading scorer from last year’s team, DJ Horne was arguably Bobby Hurley’s most consistent player in 2022. The 6-foot-1 junior averaged 12.5 points per game on 40 percent shooting while playing in 30 of the Sun Devils’ 31 games, 28 of which he started.
The former MVC All-Freshman team member has translated his game to the Power Five, with the majority of the scoring load expected to come off his shoulders this year. While undersized, Horne’s ability to score on three levels was key for Arizona State last year and if he can develop on the defensive side, Horne and Michigan transfer Frankie Collins could form one of the conference’s top backcourts.
Part of why Horne will not need to initiate the scoring as much is the anticipated return of Bagley. It’s not often you see someone make any sort of preseason award list when they’ve played 15 games in two seasons. However, Bagley’s as a former 5-star recruit precedes himself in the college ranks. The 6-foot-8 forward from Phoenix arrived on campus during the COVID-ravaged 2020-2021 season where he stood out as one of the few bright spots on a team that didn’t have many. In 12 games, Bagley shot an efficient 38 percent from the field while also displaying his prowess on defense by ripping down six boards per game.
Appearing in just three games last year due to a knee injury, Bagley is finally healthy and should be a featured player for this Sun Devil team. With his NBA draft positioning on the line this season and several other question marks surrounding him, plenty of eyes will be on the hometown kid this winter.
Ever since the Pac-12 began preseason All-Conference teams four years ago, Bobby Hurley has had one of his players named to the 1st or 2nd team every year. Behind Arizona, the Sun Devils join UCLA, USC, and Stanford for the second-most nominees this year with two each.
Horne and Bagley will look to back up their nominations starting on November 7th, when the Sun Devils open the 2022-2023 season against Tarleton State.